Belgian group to sue Apple over misleading warranty information

By on January 15, 2013, 12:00 PM

A Belgian consumer group has decided to take court action against Apple over its allegedly 'misleading' and 'illegal' AppleCare warranty policies. The group, Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats, claims that even though under European law consumers are entitled to a free two-year warranty with any consumer electronics purchase, Apple fails to properly inform consumers of these rights in order to sell its own AppleCare Protection Plans.

The latter offers an extension of up to two years on top of the standard one-year limited warranty on Apple products, with prices varying depending on the device covered -- a two year protection plan for the iPhone starts at $99, while three-year coverage for the MacBook Air costs $250.

A quick look at the Belgian online Apple Store shows the company indeed advertises free technical phone assistance for 90 days and a limited guarantee of just one year, with a footnote link pointing to a separate page that contains a table detailing current European law requiring free two year warranty.

An official complaint to Apple in collaboration with 10 other European consumer groups was first sent in March 2012, but the Cupertino-based firm reportedly remained "deaf to demands." Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats says it is confident of a positive outcome of the case, and cited another instance in Italy back in 2011 where Apple was already fined ~$1.2 million for the same reason.




User Comments: 11

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't get it, no company in Europe explicitly says "your already entitled to a 2 year warranty".

Why go after just Apple? ooww, I know... never mind...

2 people like this | PC nerd PC nerd said:

Hopefully they'll win and bring the fight back to Apple.

Tygerstrike said:

They wont win. Period. Apple provides a link to a seperate page detailing the laws in different countries. This is just a complaint basically because someone has to click thier mouse. If they chose to use that energy, and do click thier mouse, they will find that page. It would also be prohibativly expensive for Apple to set up a web site for every country in the european nations. Hence they provide a link. I swear is it me or are ppl just getting that damn lazy anymore?

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

I don't get it, no company in Europe explicitly says "your already entitled to a 2 year warranty".

Why go after just Apple? ooww, I know... never mind...

Well... they'd probably say 'You're already entitled...." (I know, I know... sorry)

They are going after Apple because Apple is selling them something they're already getting for free. They're not suing Apple for failing to inform customers that they already have a 2 year warranty, they are suing them because Apple is charging them for a 2 year warranty.

I have questions about it though. Does the EU consumer protection 2 year warranty mean that a company has to fix a broken device and if they can't they'll give you a refurbished one? Maybe Apple just replaces your iPhone with a brand new one, no questions asked. That $99 could still be buying you something, although if Apple was already fined for this, it's surprising they haven't changed the policy.

MilwaukeeMike said:

They wont win. Period. Apple provides a link to a seperate page detailing the laws in different countries. This is just a complaint basically because someone has to click thier mouse. If they chose to use that energy, and do click thier mouse, they will find that page. It would also be prohibativly expensive for Apple to set up a web site for every country in the european nations. Hence they provide a link. I swear is it me or are ppl just getting that damn lazy anymore?

True... but they could have done this. "2 Year Entended Warranty - $99 *

* - Some of our European Customers do not need a separate warranty - Click here to learn more

That's pretty easy.

Guest said:

I bought hard drive with 3 years guarantee in EU. Broken on first moment at started. I want change or repaire, waiting for 6 month no result and at last must buy another product for my money, Im very happy dont loose my many full. No money back, buy something or go away. In EU has no guarantee at all, thats lie who told other.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I bought hard drive with 3 years guarantee in EU. Broken on first moment at started. I want change or repaire, waiting for 6 month no result and at last must buy another product for my money, Im very happy dont loose my many full. No money back, buy something or go away. In EU has no guarantee at all, thats lie who told other.

Did anyone get what this guy was trying to say?

I got:

I bought a hard drive with 3 year warranty, it was broken when I recieved it, I wanted to change it or get it repaired but after waiting 6 months I decided to buy another product? the rest I just don't get?

I guess if you just stared at it for 6 months hoping it would repair itself and it didn't you were annoyed? o_o

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well... they'd probably say 'You're already entitled...." (I know, I know... sorry)

They are going after Apple because Apple is selling them something they're already getting for free. They're not suing Apple for failing to inform customers that they already have a 2 year warranty, they are suing them because Apple is charging them for a 2 year warranty.

I have questions about it though. Does the EU consumer protection 2 year warranty mean that a company has to fix a broken device and if they can't they'll give you a refurbished one? Maybe Apple just replaces your iPhone with a brand new one, no questions asked. That $99 could still be buying you something, although if Apple was already fined for this, it's surprising they haven't changed the policy.

I guess, I'm pretty sure they're not the only people who do that though, or at least I'm pretty sure they're not the only company in the UK that sell extra warranty.

Staff
Erik Erik said:

I think that he's trying to say that in the real world EU consumer laws are not enforced. If that is so, hopefully this lawsuit will shed light on the issue and more people will be aware of their rights. And maybe if Apple loses other companies will take these laws more seriously.

Puiu Puiu said:

I think that he's trying to say that in the real world EU consumer laws are not enforced. If that is so, hopefully this lawsuit will shed light on the issue and more people will be aware of their rights. And maybe if Apple loses other companies will take these laws more seriously.

they don't enforce but you can sue (or just mention to them that you will sue - it should work) if they don't comply with the law and refuse to repair your product.

most companies don't inform because many people are ignorant and don't know or just don't care about such laws. --> this means more money for repairs or new products

Guest said:

Long story short, company he bought HDD from couldn't send him replacement or repair his HDD. So he was forced to choose another product from theirs offer in similliar price and probably he paid the difference, because company policy is "never return money we already got". He bought a new hard drive for similar money using the old hdd value as part of the payment.

And in whole European Union all products have to have a 2 years warranty, so Apple can't charge customers for it.

Sorry for my english, it's not my first language as well ;).

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